GOP eyes Senate health care vote next week, amid grumbling

Patrice Gainsbourg
Junho 22, 2017

As for the House bill's measure to defund Planned Parenthood, which Collins opposes, she said she hinted that she would be comfortable with it if she had the opportunity to vote on an amendment to strip the measure.

"This massive piece of legislation that seeks to restructure one-sixth of our economy is being written behind closed doors, without input from anyone", McConnell said, "in an effort to jam it past not only the Senate but the American people".

On the other hand, a more generous phase-out of the expansion and higher Medicaid growth caps could alienate conservatives that want substantial savings from the bill. "These are merely the first steps we're prepared to take in order to shine a light on this shameful Trumpcare bill and reveal to the public the GOP's true intentions: to give the uber-wealthy a tax break while making middle class Americans pay more for less health care coverage".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was expected to push for a vote next week on the legislation, which would eliminate much of Obama's 2010 overhaul and leave government with a diminished role in providing coverage and helping people afford it. And conservatives both on and off the Hill warn that they won't support any bill that doesn't lower premiums.

Republicans could not estimate how many fewer Americans would have health care - the House GOP's bill left 23 million more uninsured - but they promised a better system than the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, said he expected to have a draft of the bill ready Thursday.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and other GOP senators from states that expanded Medicaid were still battling to prolong the phase-out of that money to seven years.

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Johnson, R-Oshkosh, told CNN on Wednesday that he has told Senate GOP leaders "I'm going to need - and my constituents - time to evaluate exactly how this will affect them".

The Senate would end the tax penalties Obama's law created for people not buying insurance and larger employers not offering coverage to workers. "Hopefully we'll have 50 votes when that time comes".

During a White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Mr Schumer made it clear that Democrats did not want to part of a process to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said she didn't know how she'd vote, saying, "What is the deal we have?"

"Conservatives who are in the know are going to know that this isn't repeal", Paul said Tuesday, according to Bloomberg News reporter Sahil Kapur. Trump reportedly dismissed the House-passed effort - which he celebrated last month in a Rose Garden ceremony - as "mean".

Other Republican senators who ought to be particularly alarmed include Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Rob Portman of OH and Dean Heller of Nevada. "I have no idea what the deal is".

One provision in trouble is language defunding Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion services and has always been targeted by Republicans.

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